The Secret to Building Muscle That You Aren’t Doing

If you’re new to Foam rolling or yet to start, here is a few reasons why you should NOW and why it will take your training to the next level.

To have an immediate impact on performance or overall health, Foam rolling has gained drastic popularity from elite athletes to the newbie pilates attendee, which is known to be the best mechanism for self-myofascial release (SMR).

What is SMR?

Self-myofascial release has been been used by therapists for years which is a hands-on massage technique. A therapist would apply a low load, long duration dragging force across layers of soft-tissue in the body. After a short period of time, the body will ‘release’ the tissue and mobility between sliding surfaces is restored. If your spouse is not a Massage Therapist and you don’t want to spend a motza on massage bills, a foam roller can be used in place of the massage therapists hands, serving as a great alternative.

Rolling my upper back. Crossing my arms, elbows pointing up and exhaling.

What are the benefits of SMR?

SMR can have a range of benefits for the everyday gym goer, yogi, sailor, gymnast- you name it!

A few to mention are:

  • Increased blood flow throughout the body
  • Improves mobility and flexibility
  • Increased range of motion
  • Prevents injuries
  • Removes lactic acid to help aid with recovery
  • Circulation improved and eliminates toxin

Deep compression helps to break up or relax tight muscles and adhesions formed between muscle layers and their surroundings. If our muscles are not taken care of properly we can experience loss of flexibility, adhesions, and painful movement.

The deep compression of self-myofascial release allows normal blood flow to return and the restoration of healthy tissue. The body naturally wants to be healthy and strong, but to achieve optimal muscle and tissue health, an extra boost is needed.

When is the best time to foam roll? pre workout? post workout? both?

SMR, in a perfect world, should be done Pre and Post workout. If you lead a busy life (like majority of people), you can’t spare the extra 5 or so minutes both sides of a workout. So, I’d choose to foam roll BEFORE a workout, during your dynamic warm-up. SMR during a warm-up aids blood flow to help reduce tension in muscles. During the post workout cool down, rolling helps flush out blood that has pooled in the working muscles and allows fresh nutrients and oxygen and allows the healing process to begin.

How will I know if I am Foam Rolling correctly?

There is a huge amount of blog posts and videos online on how to correctly foam roll the different muscles in your body without causing an injury.

What happens after foam rolling?

If you haven’t foam rolled before, you may be sore the next day. It should feel as if your muscles have been worked/released, however you should not push yourself to the point of excessive soreness. Drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, and eat nutrient dense foods. Doing so flushes your system and fuels your muscles more effectively.

What happens when it hurts?

You may feel pain in an area if you apply direct pressure to it. I suggest you shift the roller and apply the pressure on the surrounding area, to slowly and gradually loosen the entire area of the muscle. You may also use other objects to work on muscles such as a tennis ball or a lacrosse ball.

Never roll a joint or bone. Avoid rolling your lower back. If you are having issues with your neck, refer these issues to an appropriate medical professional, as these areas they can be more sensitive and require more advanced attention.

The goal is to restore healthy muscles — it is not a pain tolerance test.
Start slow, and don’t rush your warm-ups & warm-downs.

Happy rolling!

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